ISU Headlines

Bengal Dancers take first at USA College Dance Nationals

Posted February 14, 2008

The Idaho State University Bengal Dancers brought home a national championship after competing in the Large Open Dance Division at the United Spirit Association (USA) College Dance Nationals in Las Vegas in February.

Bengal Dancers USA champsAt the competition Feb. 10-11, the University of Missouri finished second and the University of Kentucky finished third in the Large Open Dance Division. The Bengal Dancers also placed fifth in the Hip Hop Division.

“We’ve been working for this for such a long time,” said Hilary Hofmaier, Bengal Dancers coach. “It is so exciting. A lot of coaches have told me ‘you just know when you have a winning routine,’ and this time I just knew in my gut that we had one.”

The Bengal Dancers finished the preliminary round in first place, and had a solid performance in the finals to seal their first national championship.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the girls,” Hofmaier said. “We have 11 new girls on the team, and it was quite a challenge to get those freshmen ready, but all the girls pulled it together and came through.”

Hofmaier also credited the team’s new choreographer, Fred Odgaard, a veteran dancer and choreographer from Las Vegas who choreographed the winning routine. The group’s assistant coach is Lindsay Tucker.

“Our routine was just so much different from anything else seen at the competition,” Hofmaier added. “It was well executed and the judges just loved it. Everything just came together.”

Previously, the Bengal Dancers had finished third both in 2007 and 2006, fourth in 2005 and fifth in 2004 at the USA College Dance Nationals in the Open Dance division.  They won the USA Hip Hop National Championship in 2007.  

The Bengal Dancers will host their annual Kids Clinic on Saturday, March 1, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Reed Gymnasium.  The cost is $20 and ages 3-12 are welcome. Participants will receive instruction from the nationally ranked ISU Bengal Dancers, a 2008 clinic T-shirt and the opportunity to perform at half-time of the ISU women’s basketball game versus Northern Arizona that evening. That game tips off at 7 p.m. Participants receive free admission into the game, and game tickets for $2 each for the participants’ friends and family. Those tickets are available through the ISU Athletic Department ticket office.

The registration deadline for the Kids Clinic is Friday Feb. 22, by 5 p.m. Registrations received after the deadline will be accepted but will not be guaranteed at T-shirt.  For a registration form please contact Campus Recreation at 282-4854 or e-mail hofmhila@isu.edu

The Bengal Dancers are now preparing for a spring concert to be held April 3 and 4 at 7 p.m. in the Diane and Chick Bilyeu Theatre in Frazier Hall. Tickets are $5 at the door.

Tryouts for the 2008-2009 Bengal Dancers will be held on Saturday, April 19.  For more information please contact head coach, Hilary Hofmaier by phone at 282-4547 or by e-mail at hofmhila@isu.edu.

Members of the Bengal Dancers are:

• Lacey Duffin, Aberdeen;

• Kasja Watt, Blackfoot;

• Kelsi Goodfellow, Burley;

• Michelle Johnson, Alexis Phillips, and Britney Giovanini Idaho Falls;

• Savana Schiess,Whitney Smith, Kayla Campbell, Sierra Smith and Chelsie Ayre from Pocatello;

• Jacquelyn Kupferer, Alta Loma, Calif.;

• Aston PeCoy, Corona, Calif.;

• Chelsea Kaminska, Honeyville, Utah;

• Katie Bolduc, Hyram, Utah;

• Jordan Nelson, Logan, Utah; and

•  Lana Robinson Raymond, Wash.